About the Surgical Assistant Program

The EVMS Surgical Assistant program is the only CAAHEP accredited Surgical Assistant program that does not require its students to be trained as a surgical technician. Our graduates earn a Master of Surgical Assisting, MSA degree and become certified in 22 months. The program consists of two phases: Didactic and Clinical.

Our Mission is to train compentent surgical assistants in a dynamic academic environment and nurture future educators and leaders of the profession.

Didactic Phase

SA Program Faculty Member Karen PowellAll classes during the 10 month didactic phase are held on the EVMS campus in our classrooms and simulation skill centers. For 14 weeks, students are assigned to the EVMS Department of Surgery's Surgical Resident Teams.‌Rotating through six surgical services, they obtain hands-on instruction by surgical residents and other surgical faculty. Students enter the clinical training phase of the program with practical experience in the operating room and a strong foundation of surgical knowledge.‌

 Clinical Phase

SA Student in ORIn contrast to other accredited programs, the EVMS program manages and assigns the students' clinical placements. At the end of the 12-month clinical phase, EVMS students:




  • Complete eight clinical rotations.
  • Perform the duties and serve in the role of the surgical assistant in at least 240 cases.
  • Have the equivalent competencies expected of a Junior Surgical Resident.
  • Are eligible to take the National Commission for the Certification of Surgical Assistants certification exam.